With a population of about three million people, lively Jamaica is one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful islands. Most tourists come to Jamaica for its stunning beaches, but the spectacular mountains should not be missed either. Jamaica has a rich British-influence that is mixed with a strong African culture and heritage. This travel guide should help plan your vacation and give you some vacation ideas.
Jamaica is most famous for its sandy beaches which make a perfect location for one’s all-inclusive vacation. Most resorts on the island are of four to five-star standards. Very popular are the Sandals Resorts. On the other hand, it’s also possible to find budget hotels suitable for backpackers. Jamaica is a popular destination for spring breakers – as such honeymooners and families might want to avoid visiting during this period of the year. Hedonism can be rife when the spring break is on – check out the hedonism resorts! If you are on a family vacation it’s best to come either in the winter or summer months, though the country has excellent weather year-round. While the hurricane season is from August to November, it’s unlikely to spoil your holiday.
Top Beach Resorts & Hotels
Select hotels and resorts in Jamaica: these are some of the best boutique and characterful hotels on the island, good value options with some character:
Mockingbird Hill Hotel
This intimate hotel is set on a hillside close to the nearby beach and overlooks the laid back town of Port Antonio. The spectacular journey via the Blue Mountains from Kingston takes two hours. It has just ten spacious rooms with handcrafted bamboo furniture, tropical plants, and lovely artwork. This hotel has an excellent restaurant serving what it describes as ‘Nouvelle Caribbean’ cuisine. Snorkeling and other watersports can be arranged by the hotel. The hotel also offers excursions including rafting and mountain biking. This is one of the excellent smaller hotels in Jamaica, it has a very good beach and a good reputation to match.
Relax Resort is on a hilltop overlooking the Caribbean sea just five minutes from Montego Bay airport. Its 40 rooms are of both villas and small apartments, each with a balcony with an ocean view. This hotel has a swimming pool and offers guests a free shuttle service down to the beach. Guests can also use the nearby golf course and tennis courts and there is a travel agency desk in the lobby where car rental and tours into rural Jamaica can be organized.
The Tryall Club Resort
30km west of Montego Bay, this stylish resort is set within a former sugar plantation skirting a 2km stretch of excellent beach. The hotel’s main building is a grand, 18th-century building that has been in the same family for over 100 years. Pastel-colored villas accommodate one to seven bedrooms. The hotel’s small private pool is delightful. The hotel’s major draw for many guests is the championship golf course set within the former plantation grounds. Other facilities include a formal restaurant, beach café, several bars, and a swimming pool with a swim-up bar. This is one of the most stylish, luxurious and upmarket luxury resorts in Jamaica.
Montego Bay Resorts
Montego Bay is known locally as Mo Bay and it is the most commonly visited resort area on the island. The rich famous are the royal have all visited this excellent area with wonderful beaches over the years.
Half Moon Hotel
Just 7km from Montego Bay airport, this luxury hotel has its own private bay. With various excellent beaches nearby, this hotel’s accomplished guest list includes various queens and presidents who have stayed in the hotel over the years. The Half Moon hotel has a spa, golf course, three swimming pools, and several bars. Horse-riding in the Montego Bay area can be arranged. This is a top of the range luxury resort hotel in Jamaica, rooms cost from $290 upwards when booked online.
Coral Cove Resort
This all-inclusive beach resort is located to the west of the island. The hotel’s views are spectacular, and the hotel is located near an old fishing village. It’s one of the more relaxed and smaller resorts, with just 13 rooms. Coral Cove is on such a beautiful stretch of beach that Bob Marley built his home nearby. This is one of the smaller boutique hotels in Jamaica, and rooms cost from $270 per night when booked online.
Coyaba Beach Resort
A mid-sized hotel with 50 rooms, this colonial-style resort attracts many distinguished and rich visitors. Just 10 miles from Montego Bay town center. Rooms are plantation style with balconies. The beaches here are excellent – the hotel has it’s own private beach. A range of water-based activities can be arranged locally. This is one of the island’s more colonial-style hotels, rooms are from about $200 per night.
Sunset beach resort and spa
One of the less originally named hotels, but none-the-less one of the best resorts on the island. Just 10 miles from Montego Bay airport, here three are three splendid beaches, three swimming pools and a range of other 5 star amenities. This is one of the all-inclusive resorts on a private peninsula, at a reasonable cost of about $140 per night online.
Half Moon Royal Villas Resort
This is a beautiful, romantic, adventurous getaway type place frequented by discerning travelers and the royalty. Suitable as a couples resort and for honeymoons.
Rose Hall Resort and country club
This resort’s location is just 9 miles from Montego Bay airport. The hotel can be booked on a room only or all-inclusive basis. With almost 500 rooms, this is one of the biggest hotels in Jamaica.
Round Hill Hotel and Villas
A standard hotel located a few miles from the airport and town of Montego Bay.
This is one of the smaller first-class hotels, with just 25 rooms. With highly personalized service, this is one of the most upmarket, desirable and first-class hotels in Jamaica. It would make a very good couple or honeymoon resort.
Goldeneye all-inclusive resort
Another all-inclusive resort.
Royal Reef Hotel
This is a lovely, intimate 20 room boutique hotel that is excellent for a more relaxing vacation.
Jakes is located it St Elizabeth and is a small boutique style resort. There are 15 romantic cottages, located in the undeveloped South Western coast. It’s a good spiritual retreat or romantic getaway, and good for discerning honeymooners.
Runaway Bay Heart Hotel
The appeal of This resort lies in the fact that it is not too large nor too small. Runaway Bay Heart hotel is a popular choice all around, and one of the best resorts on the island – it receives some great online reviews.
Gran Bahia Principe
One of the resorts located in Runaway Bay, this hotel is an hour’s drive from Montego Bay. It’s an all-inclusive with a private beach.
Grand Lido Braco Resort and Spa by Superclubs
This is an adults-only all-inclusive super resort. All alcohol is included in your stay, so you can imagine that a stay at the Grand Lido Braco Resort is bound to be a messy affair!
Ocho Rios Resorts
Ocho Rios is the second major tourist town on the north coast of Jamaica. With excellent beaches and a wide range of accommodation options, there’s something here to suit all. Many cruises call at Ocho Rios. Ocho Rios has it’s own airstrip so visitors can catch a flight here.
Jamaica Inn was built in the 1950s, now it is probably the best hotel in Ocho Rios. The inn has been run by the same family for years and has its own private beach. The Inn has antique Jamaican furniture and is a wonderful place to stay. Book this hotel online for $280 per night.
Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Suites
Situated on a private beach near Ocho Rios, this resort’s location is about 60 miles from Montego Bay. This hotel offers rooms for about $260 a night.
Riu Ocho Rios All-Inclusive Resort
This extremely popular all-inclusive resort is situated 45 minutes from Montego Bay and is one of the most popular hotels on the island. The hotel’s extensive gardens and lovely beach prove major attractions for visitors, while scuba diving lessons can be also be arranged. Riu Ocho Rios also has a spa. This is a good option for a family holiday, while it is equally suitable for couples or those on honeymoon. The Riu’s rooms cost from $215 per night.
Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort
Spanning almost 20 acres in the heart of Ocho Rios, the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort has over 1000 feet of beaches, various swimming pools, beach-front cabanas, discos, and numerous restaurants. This is a big, popular choice.
Royal Plantation Resort
Golf and spa facilities are offered at this resort in Ocho Rios. There are a total of 80 beach view rooms. This is an adult-only place – no children are allowed so it is suitable for couples and honeymoons.
Couples Ocho Rios
Another adults-only all-inclusive, couples and honeymooners here have their own island! There is the usual range of resort activities available. This is one of the more exclusive hotels on the island.
Couples Sans Souci
Another adults-only resort – there are excellent beaches, scuba diving, tennis, basketball, golf, yoga and a range of other tours available.
Negril used to be a hippy town, as such, it still retains a lot of this laid back lifestyle. It’s a popular place for scuba diving and has some of the finest beaches on the island.
Riu Tropical Bay
There are two swimming pools, a health spa, disco and a range of other amenities at this excellent hotel in Negril. This is a fine all-inclusive resort that is suitable for both couples and families alike. Diving and snorkeling can be organized. Rooms cost from $240 per night.
Riu Negril All Inclusive
This is another Riu hotel in Negril. It’s similar in nature, and for a vacation here rooms cost marginally less – from $230 online.
Beach House Villas
This resort is on Jamaica’s Western tip, an area famous for its several miles of wonderful sandy beaches. Tours to waterfalls and working farms can be organized by the hotel, which makes a good base to visit Bloody Bay, a pirates haven in the past. This is one of the island’s most romantic and stunning coastal areas, with picture-perfect beaches. Rooms at this vacation resort cost from $150 per night – a thoroughly reasonable price.
Negril Tree House Resort
This resort is found on one of Negril’s long sandy beaches. There’s a freshwater outdoor swimming pool and jacuzzi. Rooms are cheap – from $105 per night.
Country Beach Cottages
With just 14 bungalows, this small boutique hotel is located on Negril beach. Travel here and it’s from $140 per night.
The Caves All-inclusive Hotel
This remarkable place has ten small cottages located in an organic garden. It’s is Negril’s best know spiritual, romantic and beautiful retreat. It is a wonderful place to relax, and an excellent place for a honeymoon.
Grand Lido Negril Resort and Spa
An adults-only resort, the Grand Lido does not accept children.
Kingston is the cultural and administrative capital of Jamaica. Kingston has a picturesque setting near the Blue Mountains – it’s a sprawling city of striking contrasts. Mayfair day spa makes an interesting day trip from the city. The capital city has good restaurants and nightlife, and the place erupts for Jamaica’s carnival.
This is probably the best hotel in Kingston and is just 11 miles from the international airport. It has all the amenities of a typical Hilton hotel – by staying you wouldn’t even know you’re in Jamaica! From $190 per night.
The Courtleigh Hotel and Suites
another of the hotels near the airport, the Courtleigh has views of Kingston harbor. It has a swimming pool and various other amenities. $150 per night.
The Pegasus Hotel is found near Emancipation Park and is just 20 miles from Kingston airport. This is the financial district of the capital, with easy access to shops and restaurants. There are three restaurants, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. Rooms cost from $150 per night.
Other good hotels in Kingston include the Knutsford Court Hotel, Christar Villas, Four Seasons Hotel (a good luxury option) and the Strawberry Hill, which is all-inclusive. To book the cheapest hotels it is probably best to make a reservation upon our arrival at the airport. Kingston is the capital city of Jamaica, and while most visitors head straight for the beaches, the capital does have some interesting tourist attractions. The city’s most visited attraction is the Bob Marley Museum. Nearby Lime Cay and Hellshire beaches are quite attractive, there’s also the National Gallery of Jamaica, Devon House and the marvelous ruins at Port Royal.
Jamaica: Sandals Resorts
Sandals Whitehouse European Village and Spa
All-Inclusive in Montego Bay. A 500-acre natural reserve near Whitehouse in Jamaica, just 50 from Montego Bay Airport. The resort is divided into three European style villages. There’s a private beach, swimming pool and golf holidays available.
Sandals Inn Ultra All-Inclusive (Montego Bay)
An adults-only resort, everything, including alcohol, is included. Located at Kent Avenue. Great beach nearby.
Sandals Royal Caribean Resort and Private Island
Ultra All-Inclusive, This fantastic resort has it’s own island and is adults only also.
Sandals Dunn’s River Villagio Golf Resort and Spa (Ocho Rios)
A luxury beach resort just 8 miles from Ocho Rios. Adults only at Dunn’s Resort.
Sandals Ocho Rios
A couples-only villa resort located on the Northern coast of Jamaica, overlooking the Caribbean sea. This resort is 2 hours from the nearest airport. Disco and karaoke offered.
Sandals Negril Beach Resort (Negril)
An adults-only all-inclusive beach resort in Negril. There are various sports amenities, including a golf course and fitness center, at this excellent luxury hotel.
Sandals Montego Bay Ultra All-Inclusive (Montego Bay)
this is the original Sandals all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. There are numerous pools, beaches, and restaurants, and it’s just 10 minutes from Montego Bay Airport.
Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Beach and Villa Beach Resort (Ocho Rios)
This adult / couples-only resort is just 40 miles from the airport. Dunns Cove is nearby, as are some waterfalls.
Hedonism is a famous resort where inhibition is unknown, and just about anything goes. Found on Jamaica’s north coast, Hedonism iii is an all-inclusive resort for adults only. It is super inclusive so even your alcohol will be included on your vacation. Dressing up in Toga is commonplace, as is dancing at their numerous discos.
Previously there was Hedonism 2(ii), now it’s Hedonism 3 (iii) which is run by Superclubs. Hedonism 2 opened in in 1976 in Negril, while Hedonism 3 can now be found in Ocho Rios. All hedonism resorts are liberal, drug-fuelled resorts for adults only. Bikini-clad stunning women are the norm here! The club is one of the best in all Jamaica – it’s a familiar story of women and men drinking too much.
Hedonism ii is on the northern end of Negril’s Beach. Hedonism iii is found in Runaway Bay. Various swingers conventions are held, and the resort has many repeat visitors, returning to Jamaica on their vacation.
Hedonism is a different type of vacation in Jamaica – it’s a party vacation destination. Holidays aren’t quite the same without this super-club if you’re looking to go wild. To round up, the Hedonism resorts are found in Negril, Ocho Rios, and Runaway Bay.
- Top Beach Resorts & Hotels
- Montego Bay Resorts
- Half Moon Hotel
- Coral Cove Resort
- Coyaba Beach Resort
- Sunset beach resort and spa
- Half Moon Royal Villas Resort
- Rose Hall Resort and country club
- Round Hill Hotel and Villas
- Blue Harbour
- Goldeneye all-inclusive resort
- Royal Reef Hotel
- Jakes resort
- Runaway Bay Heart Hotel
- Gran Bahia Principe
- Grand Lido Braco Resort and Spa by Superclubs
- Ocho Rios Resorts
- Negril Resorts
- Kingston Hotels
- Jamaica: Sandals Resorts
- Sandals Whitehouse European Village and Spa
- Sandals Inn Ultra All-Inclusive (Montego Bay)
- Sandals Royal Caribean Resort and Private Island
- Sandals Dunn’s River Villagio Golf Resort and Spa (Ocho Rios)
- Sandals Ocho Rios
- Sandals Negril Beach Resort (Negril)
- Sandals Montego Bay Ultra All-Inclusive (Montego Bay)
- Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Beach and Villa Beach Resort (Ocho Rios)
- Hedonism Resorts